Register for WYD
The ENC began in autumn of 1997 during a leadership conference in London sponsored by RELaY network. Many of the 250+ participants were part of charismatic communities and these leaders expressed the desire to meet together during one conference and to share about their experiences as community members / leaders. As one after the other shared about their battles with isolation, lack of direction and the need for support, a decision was made to meet again a year later in the town of Novy Hrady in the Czech Republic. It was here, in an old monastery near the Austrian border that the leaders of these communities decided to continue working together. The working title of this fledgling network was the “European Network of Communities.”
ENC consists of communities which are either Ecumenical or church-specific communities. These communities are so called “Communities of the Third Way”: These are neither churches, nor religious orders, but rather a “third” way of putting into practice the biblical ideal of a Christian community. They try, like numerous communities before them, to follow the example of the “first century church of Jerusalem” (cf. Acts 2 and 4). These groups live by a common set of values but at the same time vary widely in their emphases, structures and goals.
Calling. Each community should know about the calling from God to become a community instead of remaining a prayer group.
Vision. Each community should have clarity about her special purpose and service in the Kingdom and how to exercise this calling.
Commitment. Each community should have form of explicit commitment of the individual member to God, between the brothers and sisters and to the detail obligations of common life and ministry.
Members. There should be “room” in each community for men and women of all age groups and all ways of life. Most important is our care to the next generation!
Leadership. Each community should have an established leadership, if possible as a team, appointed to oversee the life of the community and help the individual members to cope with it.
Every community remains autonomous and is self-governing.
The communities are not independent of one another, but are rather inter-related with one
They complement one another and each serves the others with their particular gifts.
Each “level” of the ENC is responsible to care for itself. The individual communities in their respective regions, the national networks, and the international/European leadership groups. In essence, the leadership in one level should only take on responsibility for those things which the leadership which the leadership in the level below cannot – for one reason or the other – carry out.
There is a familial responsibility for one another. Even while following their own path individual community should nevertheless not neglect the needs of other communities in national and international networks.
# Balance between West and East
Since the very beginning, ENC has consisted of communities in Eastern and Western Europe.
This has led to a mutual enrichment from the wealth of our differing cultural heritages.
Maintaining a balance between both segments of Europe is vital to us.
# Relationships before Activities
ENC regards itself as a spiritual “family. “ Close relationships with one another are what make the network what it is today. As important as projects and ministry are, we nevertheless see that relationships are ultimately the basis of the ENC.
# A “bottom to top” Structure
Because ENC is oriented towards building relationships, it does not regard itself as a “pyramid” with a strongly hierarchical chain of command but rather as a relational network which is structured from “bottom to top”. As a result, we want to depend on as little institutionalisation as possible.
# A “bottom to top” Structure
Because +enc is oriented towards building relationships, it does not regard itself as a “pyramid” with a strongly hierarchical chain of command but rather as a relational network which is structured from “bottom to top”. As a result, we want to depend on as little institutionalisation as possible.